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Black Knight fired in Woomera Research Programme

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Statement By the Hon. Allen Fairhall. Minister for Supply»

The Minister for Supply (Mr Allen Fairhall) said today

that another British Black Knight Rocket had "been Fired .

at Woomera Range During darkness early this morning in

furtherance of a research project sponsored by Britain, U.p.A.

and Australia.

Mr Fadrhall said the successful firing had again

demonstrated the high degree of reliability inherent in the

Black Knight Rocket.

"The research project aimed at the study of Phenomena

induced at the rerentry of bodies into the Earth’s, atmosphere

at vsry high velocity. Britain is supplying Black Knight

Rockets and the U.S.A. has provided special optical and radar

instrumentation which has been installed on the Woomera range.

The Weapons research establishment has provided some additional

optical instrumentation.

"The information obtained from the firings is analysed by

British and Australian scientists, and.the results are made

available to the U.S.A. .

"The Rocket Fired this morning carried a second stage '

system up to a height of more than 300 miles. The second stage

than ignited and drove the instrumented re-entry head back

into the atmosphere at very high velocity. The heat generated

by the friction experienced during its re-entry caused the

instrumented head to glow brightly and to leave a distinct

wake visible over a wide area in the upper atmosphere. The head and the wake were tracked by the radar and optical instrumentation; .

"The data being obtained frmm these Black Knight Firings will result in a better understanding .of the physical phenomena associated with the passage of bodies moving at hypersonic speed through the outer fringes of the Earth’s atmosphere, and

of the associated problems of heat and exchange and other energy transfers." . ,

JULY 28th 1965. ·